Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Cowboy hats and railways

Local poet John D Robinson has published a new collection of poems entitled Cowboy Hats & Railways; two of the poems appear below. The book is available either as a free PDF from Scars Publications or as a perfect bound paperback at £8.88 from Amazon.


Another time, drunk on wine

and beer and high on hash

and both of us wearing

these ridiculous oversized

Stetsons; he dared me to

climb onto the railway

bridge and swing above the

railway tracks and it didn’t

seem to be a bad suggestion

so I did just that and as I

dangled from the iron bridge

above the tracks, I thought

of a time when I was 8 or 9

when he had passed out

drunk and I didn’t know

where we were and I

couldn’t wake him up and I

shouted and kicked and

punched him with tears in

my eyes and he wouldn’t

wake up and I walked

away leaving him laying

in an alcoholic black-out

and somehow, I can’t

remember how, I made it

home and my mother hugged

me like she had never done

before or since

and my father returned

a couple days later;

and I hung from the bridge

above the railway tracks

and he joined me and we

sang a few songs and our

arms tired and we decided

to climb back onto the


and then we threw our

Stetsons onto the

tracks and went in search

of another bar.

This poem first appeared in the poetry magazine The Peeking Cat.

Original illustration by Jonathan Adie.

Original illustration by Jonathan Adie.


Born in Havana in 1891 to farming

labourer parents; he emigrated

to Miami in about 1920;

his livelihood was cigar rolling and

tobacconist and then he

moved to NYC and then

finally to Philadelphia;

he married and gained a son

and everyday after a 10 hour

shift of factory work he’d

return to his small and

humble apartment and

create breath-taking; astounding

works of art

and he never showed another

living soul these works;

never uttered a word to

anyone; kept no correspondence

with anyone; did not know

or socialize with artists and

he stole materials from the

factory to make beautiful

and astonishing collages of

human condition and political

absurdity and it is rumoured

that his son assisted with some

of these works and in

1983 some 20

years after his death,

discovered in a garage-sale was

nearly 800 works

from the artist, the healer, the man

who produced for the sake of

beauty; pleasure; love;

creating not for money; fame; ego;

and now his works are

analysed and priced far

beyond the means of any

factory worker and maybe

Felipe Jesus Consalvos

would feel really pissed-off

with this bullshit.

This poem first appeared in the online literary journal The Rusty Truck.


Posted 10:18 Friday, Oct 14, 2016 In: Poetry

Also in: Poetry

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